Meriam Ibrahim Finds Refuge At The US Embassy After Regaining Freedom

A Sudanese nursing mother, whose death penalty for renouncing Islam was cancelled, has regained freedom after being detained at Khartoum airport during attempt to leave the country. 

The lawyer Meriam Ibrahim, Muhannad Mustafa, confirmed this development to BBC reporters, said the mother of two and her family found refuge at the US embassy.

Meriam Ibrahim with daughter. Snapshot from a video – BBC

The 27-year-old woman had been in detention since June 24, 2014, Tuesday. The police arrested Meriam and her one-month-old baby at the airport, when she attempted to leave Sudan along with her husband, Daniel Wani, and their second child.

Meriam was accused of presenting false ID documents during her attempt to depart to the USA to see her family and relatives.

She was released from a jail in Khartoum on June 23, 2014, when an appeals court lifted her death sentence by hanging for renouncing Islam.

Meriam’s sentencing in May this year sparked an international and local outrage. The Sudanese authorities had to soften their stance because of the pressure from international sponsors (USA, UK).

According to Reuters, the woman was released on the condition that she remains in Sudan. Currently her future remains unclear.


The ‘apostasy’ woman was charged with forgery, as she attempted to leave the country using South Sudanese travel document. Sudanese officials say she should have used a Sudanese passport. The police have also accused her of providing false information.

‘False’ South Sudanese emergency travel document. Photo credit – BBC

The embassy of South Sudan in Khartoum insisted that emergency travel documents have not been falsified and were really issued by them on June 24, 2014, Tuesday.

The state the Suna news agency informed that Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs blasted South Sudan for granting travel documents to Meriam, despite their knowledge that she is a Sudanese national. The ministry has condemned the USA for trying to help the woman vacate Sudan in an illegal way.

It would be noted that Meriam’s case would be much more difficult to resolve, as the National Security Agency and Intelligence Authority of Sudan are now involved in the case.


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